Lunch @ Donna’s

Behold! The Daily Lunch Special @ Donna’s Eatery!

Cheese bun, mustard, mayo, cheese, corned beef, tomato, cucumber, sprouts, lettuce, spicy peppers, red onion!

This my friends is a Corned Beef Sandwich with all the fixins and as you can clearly see, it’s HUGE! I could only eat half of it.

It comes with a choice of soup- Chicken & Rice or Cream of Broccoli- and that’s HUGE too! It was really rich and creamy. Silky too.

I scarfed it down even though I knew I’d never be able to finish my sandwich. Really though, I wouldn’t have been able to finish my sandwich anyway.

Hubs chose their famous Clubhouse Sandwich -and fries- and he really enjoyed that too.

All sandwiches come with a large fermented pickle spear and while a wee bit pricy- our lunch cost us forty two dollars, including drinks- I think it’s good value for your dollar. Our sandwiches were made with care and attention using fresh ingredients and you certainly won’t feel hungry once you’re done!

Red Swan Pizza Review

There’s a new pizza place in town and I keep seeing their ads and then I got ahold of their menu and knew I had to give them a try! Red Swan Pizza.

They have such offerings as: Spicy Paneer “Spicy Cottage Cheese, Onion, Green Peppers, Tomato, Jalapeno, Pizza Sauce And Mozzarella Cheese ” and Butter Chicken “Butter Chicken, Onions, Green Peppers, Pizza Sauce & Mozzarella Cheese” and Tandoori Chicken ” Tandoori Chicken, Mushrooms, Red Onions, Green Peppers, Pizza Sauce, Jalapeno & Mozzarella Cheese” amongst just a few!

This time the Hubs and I chose a Hawaiian for him and the Coriander Chili Chicken for me. Mine was described as having fresh green coriander, marinated chicken, onion, green pepper and mozza cheese.

I was super excited to give it a try! (And super hungry too which is why I didn’t take any photos of the whole pie, ha ha ) But when it came … right away I could tell things were off. It just looked like one big red mass on top of one very thin crust.

Ok, fine. Not everything is going to look beautiful. And yes, while the photos on their website and flyer menu are so inviting, we all know the reality can be different, right?

We both dove right in anyway and it took about three bites before I started to get any flavour in mine.

“Meh” was my assessment. There was absolutely nothing special about it. I actually felt ripped off. The chicken tasted off. Not… bad, just off. Like chicken you’d get in a frozen meal. It had that taste and texture. There was absolutely NO fresh coriander anywhere to be seen or taste and while the sauce the chicken was in, was barely warm -in the spicy sense- there was no sign of chili, either. I was SO disappointed! This could have been such a great pie! The idea is a great one ( and I’m going to make my own just so I can experience it how I want it to be) but it was very, very, VERY poorly executed.

The Hub’s Hawaiian pizza was much the same. Underwhelming. The ham was just lardons of fat and the pineapple were dried out shards of no substance. And , in what I think was the worst crime of it all : both pies were really skimpy on the cheese. Not cool man! Especially when we paid 42 dollars for two pies!

One thing I did like: The sesame seeds on the edge of the crust. That was an interesting twist.

All in all, I would not order from them again.

A person would be better off to go to Pizza 73.

Hell, a person would be better of to go to Little Caesar’s and get one of their Hot and Ready Pies.

And that’s all I have to say about that!

Save on Foods- Online Shopping and Home Delivery Service.

A while back, the Hubs had to go out of town for the weekend and I had OV for a sleepover. This meant our usual routine was going to all messed up and getting groceries was going to be a bit of a pain in the arse.

What to do? What to do? I could walk up to the store and just buy what I needed for the weekend. I could do a regular shop and catch a cab home. OR I could use the grocery services our store offers and write about our experience here!

We shop all over the place but decided to use Save On Foods this time because their customer service is second to none.

You can shop right online, from their website- Save-On-Foods– but first you have to make an account for yourself.

This turned into a bit of a thing because I didn’t have the proper number on the back of my Save On More Card. _it’s 25 years old!- Once I got through to someone at Customer Service, it went smoothly enough and soon I was all set up and ready to shop from a store that offers the service, closest to me. (Not all of them do. You might not get your favourite store)

At first I was MOST FRUSTRATED because I was shopping via each section and I just wasn’t finding the things I had on my list. I quickly figured out it was way easier to type in what I wanted directly into the search bar. That sped things up and I eventually found most of what I was looking for.

After I got a few items in my cart, I was prompted to reserve a delivery slot and informed I only had so much time to complete my shopping. I think it was a two hour window. It only took me about an hour and that was only because there was a bit of a learning curve. So I reserved my slot, continued on and was delighted to find I could even shop directly from their online flyer! How cool it that!?

You’re shopping from an actual store, not a warehouse so some things are not always going to be available. For me that was miso and zucchini (but I managed to find a decent zuke in the garden and worked in a field trip to T&T supermarket with OV for miso, so it was all good) You can also state your preference and leave notes for your shopper. I chose to click that substitutions were ok with me, because I thought it’d be fun to see what another person thought was a good substitute. There ended up being no substitutions. I think I’ll keep doing that. The driver told me that’s the best way to do it unless you have food restrictions or allergies. It ensures you get the things you need. (SO long as you’re not a major hard ass about stuff, I guess)

After reviewing my cart, I paid for the groceries via credit card- you can use your visa debit too- and that was that. All I had to do was wait for delivery.

You’re given a window of time and the driver will call you 15 mins before they arrive. If it’s your first time with them, you’ll have to show ID too.

The driver did all that and then carried the bags up to the door to me. ( You can request no bags, which I will do next time) I’m sure if I’d needed help, he would have brought them directly in. I have dogs and people issues so that’s always going to be a “No Thanks” for me. ( At least until not given the choice. ) Save On Foods employees are not allowed to accept tips. Just know that to save yourself some awkwardness. He explained a few things to me and then went on to continue with his day and I spent 10 mins unpacking my groceries, feeling quite pleased with myself and the whole thing.

It felt like Christmas because I’d kinda forgotten what I’d bought so it was a fun exercise to open each bag, ha!

All in all I would do it again. It was pretty much painless and the service was excellent. Would it replace my weekly shopping trip? Not until it had to. I like shopping and I find the act of going up and down the aisle triggers memories in me of things I forget on my list, ha ha. BUT the other side of that is that I didn’t spend a lot of extra money on things I don’t need, things that catch my eye..so there’s that!

Your first delivery is free and then there is a fee, depending on where you are from the store. Mine would have been about $7.00 which is completely reasonable. Don’t tell them, but I would pay a whole lot more than that for the service. 🙂 I highly recommend!

Matzo Ball Soup Mix Review.

You might remember, way back in Lune, that I bought myself some soup as part of my 30 day present extravaganza.

In the past I’ve bought the Matzo Ball mix but never with the soup. I like to make my soup myself. Soup from a mix didn’t seem all that appetizing.

Well, obviously I am dumb Dumb with a capital D because this mix was AMAZING. No. Seriously. Read on.

This is what it looked like:

I got the mix at Save on Foods in their World Foods section. (Don’t we live in the world too? ) Right next to the East Coast stuff ( Aren’t the Maritimes a part of this country?)

You mix up the matzo meal with two eggs, some oil and water according to these directions:

Give it a chill and roll them into balls.

You cook the balls in the soup mix until they puff up like this:

And enjoy!

The whole process couldn’t have been easier. I enjoyed them on a wet and dreary day and they were just the thing. They are economical too. This one package which cost me 6 dollaroonies or so, fed me for 3 meals.

How did they taste? Divine!

That soup mix was SO good. Perfectly seasoned without being salty. So clear and clean tasting with a very nice celery flavour. I didn’t end up using all the soup and I thought nothing of adding the remainder to my precious master stock. The matzo balls were weighty and satisfying without being too dense. They were creamy and flavourful. I do believe, this is my favourite soup of all time. It’s well worth the try.

What’s your favourite soup? Is it from a can or mix, or homemade?

Beyond Meat. First Try.

I was so excited when my local grocery store started selling Beyond Meat burger patties. I’ve been slowly going “off” beef for the last little bit ( find it smells gross when it cooks) but still want to enjoy that meaty and umami taste us meat eaters love.

We paid 6.99 for two patties – on sale- and this is what we got:

They felt pretty fragile but I had no problems getting them into an oiled pan where I was instructed to cook them on each side for 4 mins a side on med-high heat.

Compared to a beef burger patty these gals are higher in calories than a beef patty (which is 204 calories per 100 grams.) These patties are 13 grams heavier, with an extra 66 calories. BUT I was eating them for my own anti yuck factor, not calorie count and it made no difference to me. The Beyond Meat burger also has 5 more grams of protein than an average beef patty but 226 (!!!!) more mg of sodium than a beef patty. So there’s that. It also has 0 grams of cholesterol.

They cooked up nicely even giving off “juice” in the process:

Here is the finished product:

A little dark but nothing major.

How was the taste? Good! ( I did have a photo of the inside of them in a burger bite but I accidently deleted it when I was clearing off photos whilst on a trip. Oooops. Sorry)

The patty had a great mouth feel. A good give in each bite and a soft interior with NO hard crunchy bits. They tasted smoky, like they’d been grilled. They tasted like MEAT, in my opinion. The Hubs said he liked them but wasn’t as enthusiastic as I was. ( Not many people are as enthusiastic as I am )

I’d eat them again. I’d choose them over a beef patty from the gorcery store for sure. But I do have concerns with the sodium levels so …not all the time and when I do the work and find grass fed, humanely raised, not smelly as it cooks, cattle to buy, I’d eat that instead.

I think they still have some work to do but for now, these are a good choice every once in awhile.

Bountiful Farmer’s Market

Edmonton just got a brand new farmer’s market. At my count the new arrival makes 14! Wow! We sure do like our markets …

Bountiful Farmer’s Market is located at 3696 97 Street, ( Edmonton, Alberta. obviously) in a large building with lots of parking. That didn’t help us because this is a popular place! The streets were lined with cars and there were people everywhere trying to find a spot. We found ours on the street and it was an easy 3 min walk to the market. Arrival time…noonish on a Saturday.

The place was bustling and full of people but not crowded and claustophic like The Old Strathcona Market. I don’t think I felt the need to keep my eye on the exits once, woot woot!

The vendors are laid out in rows and there are food vendors and a place to sit under the coolest art treatment:

We had ourselves a wander and found the selection to be varied, unique and interesting. There was food – premade and in it’s raw form- art, sweets, booze, flowers…all sorts of stuff. Full Vendor List HERE. The Hubs and I found everyone to be friendly and engaging. I almost don’t want to talk to people because then I’m compelled to buy ALL their stuff, ha ha! Somehow I was able to be discerning and we only made a few purchases:

YUM! I bought these based on a generous sample. They are a cross between a dumpling and a perogy I was told. What they are is DELICIOUS! I’d never heard of them before and I’m glad to be so enlightened. I’ll be having this in a soup some time in the future. You can also have them plain along side accompaniments of your choosing, with sauce to dip. Very flavourful, moist and savoury. Check out Siberian Meat Dumplings.

Hubs also bought himself from craft beer from …

He chose their Day Drifting Pale Ale, a seasonal offering, and has been enjoying it. Ribstone Creek Brewery is located in Edgerton, Alberta. I am not a beer person but I had a wee taste and was struck by how clean it tasted. A quality product, right there.

Then we stopped in to chat with a very nice gent, brought over by the smell of his product: Twiggy Sticks Biltong!

In addition to the Twiggy Sticks he was cooking up this beautiful coiled sausage. It was SO flavourful and not at all greasy! Like surprisingly, not greasy. It’s in my freezer and I cant wait to cook it up. I love sausage but you know…the fat content makes it a treat as opposed to a regular option. Not anymore!

Not only does this product have the COOLEST name, these caramels are truly otherworldly. I should know, I make a highly acclaimed caramel myself:

Kick Ass Caramels are a force to be reckoned with. Big chunks of buttery, creamy flavour bombs these lovelies are indeed! There was a full range of interesting options to choose from and loads and LOADS of samples. As you can see we bought Sambuca and Chai Latte. Some of the other options were Coconut Rum, Salted Caramel and a whole lot more. The vendor was a hoot, super down to earth and authentic. She stole my heart forever when she referred to me as a “broad” and now I want her as my BFF X 11ty! ❤ Ha ha. The Hubs and I are fighting over who “owns” these boxes and that man is not into sweets so….yeah. Do yourself a favour and buy yourself a treat.

And do yourself a favour and head on down to this market. We enjoyed it. It’s well thought out and we felt comfortable there. It’s open year round, three days a week!

A Mother’s Reckoning.

Book:

A Mother’s Reckoning. Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy. Sue Klebold

Wow. Just Wow. First of all fair warning. If you have any kind of trauma injury this book may trigger you. There is absolutely nothing graphic in it but I found myself having to read it in bits and spurts because I was getting amped up. I bit off all my fingernails…I ate out half my pantry, ha ha! ( I still read it in 7 hours though! ) Also, I found myself with racing thoughts at bedtime and the anxiety brought up some well buried events from my childhood. So, take care. I regret nothing and think it was well worth it though because this book…oh this book!

I found great comfort in this book. I’m the mother of a child who has made some bad choices and I have felt all kinds of turbulant, complicated, gut wrenching emotions during the course of that experience. As Sue Kelbold struggles to make sense of why her child did what he did and what her own part was, she takes the reader along with her and imparts great wisdom derived both from her experience AND from experts she meets along the way. It all felt like a balm for my soul.

I was left feeling like there is no easy answer. Good, bad or indifferent. I was left feeling nothing but compassion for every human being who struggles, with anything. I just wanted to give the world a great big hug. We are all just babies really. Vulnerable to the scary and the unknown. And yet we keep trying! How amazing is that!? I felt like if this woman can live her life the way she did and have this happen in her family, then shitty things can happen to any of us regardless of our best intentions, knowledge, beliefs and actions. We can try our best, and our best might not be good enough. The perfectionist in me struggles with this but it is a stone cold fact! I find it comforting. I don’t want to stop trying my best but I think it gives me room to let myself off the hook for all the things I cant control, yet blame myself for!

There is a lot of grace and kindness amongst these a pages too. Sue Klebold is unflinching and sincere. She makes zero excuses and only seeks to understand. The bits of kindness she was shown in the wake of this tragedy and the kindness she showed others astounded me, and filled my heart to bursting.

We all like to think we’re impervious to things like this and when it happens to people boy oh boy do we like to play arm chair expert don’t we? ” Well, she mustn’t have been a good parent if her kid did something like!” we expound sitting on top of our very high -and very wobbly- horses. Until something like that does happens to US and then suddenly, we’re not so sure anymore. Of anything.

I relate to this deeply as the mother of a child with an addiction problem.

I relate to this deeply as the wife of a person with a brain illness.

I even relate to this deeply as the mother of a young mother!

Us humans love to judge and think we know better. It makes us feel safe in a world that is nothing but chaotic.

This was an excellent read. Very well written and put together. Sue Klebold is very human and very likable. There is great wisdom in this one. Well done! I highly recommend.